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The Three Musketeers

Theatrical poster
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Alexandre Dumas, père (novel)
Robert Ardrey
Starring Gene Kelly
Van Heflin
June Allyson
Vincent Price
Lana Turner
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) October 20 1948
Running time 125 minutes
Country USA
Language English

The Three Musketeers (1948) is a Technicolor adventure film adaptation of the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, père. It starred Gene Kelly and Lana Turner and also co-starred Van Heflin, June Allyson, Vincent Price and Angela Lansbury



D'Artagnan (Gene Kelly), an inexperienced Gascon youth, travels to Paris to join the elite King's Musketeers. On his way, he encounters a mysterious lady at a roadside inn. When he picks a fight with one of her escorts, she becomes suspicious and has him knocked unconscious. His letter of introduction from his father to de Treville (Reginald Owen), the commander of the Musketeers, is burned. When he awakens, he continues on to the city.

In Paris, he nevertheless presents himself to de Treville, who recognizes d'Artagnan's description of one of his assailants and, saying "A man is sometimes known by the enemies he makes," gives him a commission in the cadets. Subsequently, the young Gascon spots the very man, and in his haste to confront him, d'Artagnan annoys three Musketeers, Athos (Van Heflin), Porthos (Gig Young) and Aramis (Robert Coote), in three separate incidents; each challenges him to a duel. When they show up at the appointed place, the master swordsmen are amused by the newcomer's audacity. Before they can begin however, they are interrupted by Richelieu's men, who try to arrest the Musketeers. Outraged that the three are outnumbered, d'Artagnan joins them in dispatching their foes, displaying his superb swordsmanship in the process. As a result, he is welcomed into their ranks.

Later, d'Artagnan rescues (and falls in love with) Constance Bonacieux (June Allyson), a confidante of Queen Anne (Angela Lansbury). The queen had been given a magnificent matched set of diamond studs by her husband, King Louis XIII (Frank Morgan). Foolishly, she gives them to her lover, the Duke of Buckingham (John Sutton), who happens to be the Prime Minister of Britain. Knowing of the queen's indiscretion, Richelieu (Vincent Price) sees a way to persuade the king to go to war with Britain. Richelieu arranges a ball and suggests to Louis that his wife wear the diamonds.

D'Artagnan and his three friends volunteer to travel to Britain to retrieve the jewels, but along the way, they are ambushed by Richelieu's men. One by one, the Musketeers are forced to stay behind to hold off their pursuers. Finally, only d'Artagnan and his servant Planchet (Keenan Wynn) are left to reach the duke. However, Richelieu had already sent the beautiful Countess de Winter (Lana Turner) to work her wiles on the duke and steal two of the studs. Fortunately, the duke's jeweler is able to make replacements quickly and d'Artagnan races back to France. He arrives just in time to save the queen from disgrace.

Admiring d'Artagnan's resourcefulness, Richelieu has Constance abducted in an attempt to enlist him in his service. He also assigns de Winter to help persuade the young man. D'Artagnan tries to learn where Constance is being held from de Winter, but begins to fall under her spell instead. When Athos discovers that Milady is actually his treacherous wife, he tries to warn d'Artagnan, but is not believed. Then d'Artagnan finds out that Athos was telling the truth; he sees a brand on her shoulder, the mark of a common criminal, as Athos had described. The revelation of her darkest secret earns him her unrelenting hatred.

Meanwhile, fighting breaks out between Britain and France. The queen succeeds in freeing Constance and sends her to Buckingham for safety. When the war goes against him, Richelieu sends de Winter to Britain, supposedly to negotiate peace but actually to assassinate his foe. However, the Musketeers learn of the plot and send Planchet to warn the duke. De Winter is imprisoned and placed in the custody of Constance, as she is immune to her beauty. When the latter lets down her guard, de Winter kills first her, then Buckingham.

Caught once again by the Musketeers, she begs for mercy, but finds none from her husband, who still loves her despite her many crimes, nor from d'Artagnan, mourning Constance. Seeing this, she calms herself and walks with dignity to her execution.



In mid-1947, it was announced Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was set to produce a film adaption of The Three Musketeers.[3] Initially, Louis Hayward showed interest in playing d'Artagnan in a film adaption, but he withdrew when he found out The Three Musketeers was already being produced by MGM.[3] Despite rumors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was set to star, Gene Kelly was announced as the film's lead in June 1947, with production slated to begin in September.[4] Due to scheduling conflicts, Kelly had to give up the leading role in Easter Parade (1948), which meant he was not scheduled to do a musical film until 1948.[5] A week later, Keenan Wynn was confirmed to play a co-starring role.[6] Shortly after, Van Heflin and William Powell were revealed to be in negotiations for the title roles.[7]

To appear as Lady de Winter, Lana Turner had to give up her role in an unfinished project called Bedeviled.[8] In January 1948, news items reported Turner withdrew from The Three Musketeers. Initially, she had permission to withdraw from Louis B. Mayer, because she had been very busy shooting the films Green Dolphin Street (1947), Cass Timberlane (1947), and Homecoming (1948).[9] However, she was later put on suspension and Alida Valli was considered as her replacement.[10] Eventually, she agreed to make the film, and it sparked her first film in color.

Before June Allyson was cast in the remaining female lead, Deborah Kerr was offered the role in November 1947.[11]


  1. ^ "The Three Musketeers Plot Synopsis". Allmovie. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  2. ^ "Richard Stapley, 86, was actor, writer". Variety Magazine. 2010-03-07. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  3. ^ a b "In Hollywood" by Bob Thomas, The Brownsville Herald, August 22, 1947, p. 5
  4. ^ "Gene Kelly Gets Dumas Lead" by Louella O. Parsons, San Antonio Light, June 5, 1947, p. 10-A
  5. ^ "Louella Parsons", Lowell Sun, November 4, 1947, p. 5
  6. ^ "Louella Parsons", Lowell Sun, June 11, 1947, p. 22
  7. ^ "Hollywood Column" by Erskine Johnson, The Bakersfield Californian, June 18, 1947, p. 22
  8. ^ "Independents Seek Shelter Of Major Studios for Cold Winter" by Bob Thomas, Denton Record-Chronicle, December 5, 1947, p. 4
  9. ^ "Hollywood" by Louella Parsons, Middletown Times Herald, January 15, 1948, p. 12
  10. ^ Basinger, J., Lana Turner, 1976, p. 80
  11. ^ "In Hollywood" by Erskine Johnson, Altoona Mirror, November 21, 1947, p. 31

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Three Musketeers is a 1948 film about D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades who thwart the plans of Royal Prime Minister Richelieu to usurp the King's power.

Directed by George Sidney. Written by Robert Ardrey, based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas.
Mightiest of All Romantic Adventures! ...Storming it's way to the screen with unbelievable excitement! taglines



  • To die among friends. Can a man ask more? Can the world offer less? Who wants to live 'till the last bottle is empty? It's all-for one, d'Artagnan, and one for all.
  • This was my family's chapel, Charlotte. You'll remember we took our vows here. I loved you, Charlotte. I still love you. I love you as I love war and drunkenness. I love you as men love all that is worst for them.


  • It takes a good man to prevent a catastrophe, Milady, and a great man to make use of one.

The Duke of Buckingham

  • [to the queen] England is mine, France shall be mine, and you shall be mine.

Constance Bonacieux

  • Whatever my reputation or my D'Artagnan's, I don't take love lightly.


Jussac: [while dueling] Why don't you use your right hand, Athos?
Athos: I save my right hand for my drinking.

Constance Bonacieux: Oh monsieur! Monsieur, you come from the heavens.
D'Artagnan: No mademoiselle, just from upstairs.
D'Artagnan: I come from the end of the earth to implore you.
Constance Bonacieux: I thought you said you came from upstairs.

D'Artagnan: I kissed the Queen's hand!
Constance Bonacieux: Have you no higher ambitions?

Lady de Winter: But, your grace, how can you trust me with such a confidence? What if I refuse to go to England?
Richelieu: Can there be anybody more trustworthy, Milady, than an ambitious woman of fashion... with a history?

D'Artagnan: Porthos, when did a wound ever come between you and a fight?
Porthos: [lying on his stomach] Well, unfortunately the position of this one comes between me and my horse.


  • Mightiest of All Romantic Adventures! ...Storming it's way to the screen with unbelievable excitement!


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